Whether it's owning up to ill-advised hookups, letting go of the past, or making the most of what works, The Knot's (NASDAQ:KNOT) latest quarter is a lot like a trying marriage.

Its latest quarter had a bit of owning up to adulterous indiscretion (writing down the value of 2006's WeddingChannel.com acquisition), shedding the old (there was a 14% year-over-year plunge in its old school publishing business), and finding ways to grow everywhere else.

Revenue inched 3% higher to $25.1 million. The results were weighed down on the print-publishing side, though online advertising rose marginally during the period. The uptick may not seem like much, but it stacks up well when pitted against the 8% plunge in online advertising at Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and AOL (NYSE:AOL) during the same three months. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) grew faster during those same three months, but that new-media darling is on an entirely different plane from everybody else.

Pre-tax profits before the asset impairment hit clocked in at $1.7 million, or $0.05 a share. The Knot isn't breaking down how that sum would've been taxed, but it's safe to assume that analysts had a good read on the wedding-media company in projecting a taxed profit of $0.03 a share on $25.3 million in revenue.

The Knot needs the recession to go away and for site visitors to get back to planning lavish weddings. The company earns its keep primarily from wedding-service providers who advertise on its site and from bridal-gift shoppers who hit up its Web-based registry.

Investors can always take heart in the 20% surge in net sales at Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE) during the holiday quarter. Diamond engagement rings are a specialty, and if marriage proposals are being made, it will mean eventual traffic for The Knot's flagship site. It's not a perfect proxy, but it beats following some of the site's broader bridal registry partners such as Macy's (NYSE:M) and Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM).

The Knot gets points for bouncing back before the non-Google online-advertising market, but it has to do better than this if it wants its relationship with shareholders to thrive and last.

The Knot, Google, and Blue Nile are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. That's longer than some weddings last these days.

If TheKnot.com had been around when longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz got married, maybe he could have had a punctual person working the video camera on his wedding day. Rick owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.